US 20050199516 A1
A sleeve assembly (200, 300) for a digital media disk (90) or similar flat product is disclosed. The sleeve assembly includes a sleeve member (210, 370/380) having a plurality of hingedly connected panels (216, 226, 236, 316, 336), wherein one or more of the panels includes apertures (212, 312). Two of the panels include retaining members (221, 231, 321, 331). In some embodiments, a semirigid disk holder (141) is attached to a panel, for retaining the disk. A removable placard (260), having identifying indicia (262, 264) that is at least partially visible through the apertures, and is removably retained by the retaining members. In some embodiments, an aperture (214) is included on the hinge spine, such that a portion of the placard can be seen from the end of a folded sleeve assembly. The sleeve member may be generic, while the placard includes specific indicia related to the received disk.
1. A sleeve assembly for holding a digital media disk, the sleeve assembly comprising:
a multipanel sleeve having a first sleeve panel with a first retaining member, a second sleeve panel with a second retaining member, the first sleeve panel hingedly connected to the second sleeve panel along a sleeve spine, and wherein the multipanel sleeve is movable between a closed position and an open position;
means for releasably attaching a digital media disk to the multipanel sleeve;
a multipanel placard having a first placard panel hingedly connected to a second placard panel along a placard spine, and identifying indicia printed on a portion of the placard, wherein the placard is sized to slidably engage the first and second retaining members such that the placard is removably retained on the multipanel sleeve; and
a viewing aperture through the multipanel sleeve, the viewing aperture positioned such that at least a portion of the identifying indicia printed on the placard is viewable through the viewing aperture when the multipanel sleeve is in the closed position.
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11. A method for packaging a digital media disk comprising:
providing a multipanel sleeve having a first panel hingedly connected to a second panel along a sleeve spine, the multipanel sleeve having a means for releasably retaining the digital media disk, wherein the multipanel sleeve includes a paperboard portion having at least one viewing aperture therethrough and, further, wherein the multipanel sleeve does not include any indicia identifying the digital media disk;
releasably retaining the digital media disk in the multipanel sleeve;
printing a multipanel placard having a first identifying indicia associated with the digital media disk; and
retaining the multipanel placard on the multipanel sleeve such that the first identifying indicia is viewable through the viewing aperture in the paperboard portion of the multipanel sleeve.
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20. A sleeve assembly for holding a compact disk, the sleeve assembly comprising:
a trifold sleeve member having a middle panel hingedly attached to oppositely disposed first and second end panels, wherein the first end panel and the middle panel each includes retaining members, and the second end panel includes a semirigid disk holder for releasably retaining the compact disk, and wherein at least one of the first end panel and the middle panel includes a viewing aperture therethrough; and
a placard having a plurality of identifying indicia printed thereon, the placard being removably retained by the retaining members such that the placard overlies the first end panel and the middle panel, and wherein at least a portion of the plurality of identifying indicia printed on the placard is visible through the viewing aperture.
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This application is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 10/800,811, filed Mar. 15, 2004, priority from the filing date of which is hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. § 120.
The invention relates generally to packaging systems and, in particular, to packaging for flat products such as compact disks and digital video disks.
Digital information/entertainment products are increasingly being distributed on flat storage media, such as compact disks (“CDs”), digital video disks (“DVDs”), and the like. For example, music, music videos, movies, software, photographs, promotional materials such as catalogues and directories are commonly produced and distributed on CDs and/or DVDs. CDs, DVDs, and similar flat storage media are collectively referred to herein as “digital media disks.” Digital media disks have many advantages over other prior art storage media. They are relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, flexible to modify and format, and provide a convenient form factor. Although the most common digital media disks are circular with a diameter of about 12 cm, digital media disks having different sizes and/or shapes are also available. Digital media disks are generally amenable to external markings—for example, to identify the digital content stored on the media and/or to provide other aesthetic, promotional, and/or informational content. Players for the various types of digital media disks are becoming ubiquitous.
The packaging of music CDs, for example, frequently includes a hard, transparent or semitransparent, plastic case, often called a “jewel case.” An insert or placard is frequently insertable into the jewel case, providing identifying indicia indicating the content of the CD. The insert may include other information, such as a play list, lyrics, copyright notice, content warnings or ratings, and credits such as the various artists and producers involved in producing the CD.
The conventional jewel case, however, has some disadvantages. The jewel case is relatively thick and heavy, with many hard corners. This may make the jewel case (and enclosed CD) inconvenient to carry around, such as in a pocket or backpack. The jewel case is also typically formed of a brittle, hard plastic that is susceptible to scratching and breakage. For example, the jewel case may break when dropped or otherwise mishandled and, in particular, the integral hinge mechanism is susceptible to damage. The jewel case also can be difficult to open. The jewel case also typically includes an engagement member that extends through the center hole in the CD and clasps the CD to secure it to the case and prevent it from accidentally falling out while the jewel case is being opened. Such engagement members, however, may further complicate removal of the CD and, in particular, may result in damage to the CD—for example, if the user attempts to remove the CD by pulling upwardly on an outer edge without first disengaging the mechanism. Such jewel cases are also relatively expensive to produce.
Other cases for CDs have been proposed that overcome some of the jewel case disadvantages discussed above, utilizing paperboard material to form the carrier. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,655,656 discloses a two-piece sleeve package for compact disks made from paperboard card stock, having an outer container and a separable inner sleeve that slidably engages the outer container. U.S. Pat. No. 6,241,085 discloses a folded paperboard CD carrier for holding a plurality of CDs in a side-by-side arrangement. U.S. Pat. No. 6,637,588 discloses a folded paperboard CD carrier having a folded panel including a protrusion that is adapted to be inserted through the center aperture of the CD. However, these carriers are relatively complex. Moreover, because paperboard is opaque, the user cannot readily identify the content of the enclosed CD without opening the carrier.
There remains a need, therefore, for a carrier for digital media disks such as CDs and DVDs that is relatively simple and easy to produce, and easy to open for removing a digital media disk.
A sleeve assembly for a digital media disk such as a compact disk, digital video disk, or the like, is disclosed. The sleeve assembly allows the use of a generic sleeve member that does not have product-specific indicia, in combination with a placard that is removably retained therewith, the placard having product-specific indicia. At least a portion of the identifying indicia is visible through one or more apertures in the sleeve assembly, even when the sleeve assembly is in a closed configuration. The sleeve assembly includes a multipanel sleeve member, such as a three-panel, trifold type sleeve, wherein a first and second panel each includes a retaining member for retaining the placard having identifying indicia printed thereon. One or both of the first and second panels have apertures that are positioned to expose at least a portion of the identifying indicia on the placard. A third panel includes a pocket that opens inwardly or other retaining device that is adapted to receive a digital media disk such that the disk is securely retained in the sleeve when the sleeve assembly is folded to a closed position.
In an embodiment of the invention, an aperture is provided, disposed generally between the first and second panels, whereby when the sleeve assembly is closed, the aperture extends across the spine of the fold to expose a portion of the placard that is viewable from the end of the sleeve assembly. This may allow the user to identify a particular disk from a stack of similar disks.
In an embodiment of the invention, the sleeve assembly includes a multipanel sleeve having a first sleeve panel with a first retaining member, a second sleeve panel with a second retaining member, the first sleeve panel hingedly connected to the second sleeve panel along a sleeve spine. Means for releasably attaching a digital media disk to the multipanel sleeve are included. A placard is provided having identifying indicia printed thereon. The placard is sized to engage the first and second retaining members such that the placard is removably retained on the sleeve and at least a portion of the identifying indicia is viewable through a viewing aperture through the multipanel sleeve when the sleeve is closed.
In an embodiment of the invention, the sleeve assembly includes a hinged portion that retains the placard on an outer surface and a separable box portion that receives the hinged portion, and includes apertures through which at least a portion of the identifying indicia is viewable.
The present invention includes a method for packaging a digital media disk including the steps of providing a multipanel sleeve including means for retaining a digital media disk, the sleeve having at least one viewing aperture therethrough, retaining the disk in the sleeve, printing a placard having identifying indicia associated with the digital media disk, and retaining the placard on the sleeve such that the identifying indicia is visible through the viewing aperture.
The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
A currently preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the figures, wherein like numbers indicate like parts.
As seen most clearly in
The middle panel 126 is also hingedly connected to the second end panel 136 through hinge portion 128, which is preferably formed by a single transverse fold. The middle panel 126 includes a second retaining member 131 opposite the first retaining member 121 and disposed generally adjacent to the second end panel. The second retaining member 131 is connected to the middle panel 126 at the top edge 131A and bottom edge 131B, and free on the sides 131C, such that a flat channel or opening is formed between the second retaining member 131 and the middle panel 126.
The second end panel 136 includes a pocket member 141 disposed at the distal end of the second end panel 136. The pocket member 141 is connected to the second end panel 136 at a top edge 141A, bottom edge 141 B, and distal side edge 141C, and open at the proximal side edge 141D, to form a pocket. The pocket is sized to slidably receive a digital media disk 90. The proximal edge 141D of the pocket member 141 may include a semicircular cutout 144 that is positioned to expose the central aperture 92 of the digital media disk 90 to permit a user to remove the disk 90 by inserting a finger into the aperture 92 to slide the disk 90 outwardly, away from the pocket.
The hinge portion 118 between the first end panel 116 and the middle panel 126 is wider than the hinge portion 128 between the middle panel 126 and the second end portion 136, such that when the sleeve assembly 100 is folded or closed, as shown in
It will be appreciated from
Referring now to
In particular, it will be appreciated from
A die-cut form 111 for the sleeve member 110 is shown in
Tab members 150, 152, 154, and 156 are positioned to be folded along corresponding fold lines 151, 153, 155, and 157, respectively. It will be apparent from
A second embodiment of a sleeve assembly 200 according to the present invention, is shown in
The second end panel 236 of the present invention includes a rigid or semirigid disk holder 241 that may be made from a polymeric material—for example, a thermoplastic such as a polyethylene or polypropylene. The disk holder 241 defines a circular or substantially annular recess 243 that is sized to accommodate the digital media disk 90 (shown in phantom). A center, elastically flexible retaining member 244 that is sized to engage a center aperture 92 of the digital media disk 90 extends from the circular recess 243. The disk holder may include one or more peripheral indentations 245 (four shown) to facilitate removal of the digital media disk 90 from the disk holder 241. Such disk holders 241 are known in the art. The disk holder 241 is preferably permanently affixed to the second end panel 236—for example, with an adhesive or a secure double-sticky tape (not shown)—such that the disk holder 241 will not separate from the second end panel 236, even over repeated usage.
As seen most clearly in
A die-cut paperboard form 211 for a preferred embodiment of the sleeve member 210 is shown in
Tab members 250 and 252 are positioned to be folded as shown. In a preferred embodiment, the second end panel 236 includes reinforcing portion 237 that is folded to overlie and is bonded to the second end panel 236 to provide additional strength for supporting the disk holder 241. The disk holder 241 is shown with an arrow indicating placement on the second end panel 236 after folding over the reinforcing portion 237. The sleeve member 210 is formed by cutting the form 211, including the apertures 212, 214 as shown, and scoring along fold lines as desired, folding the tab portions 250, 252, retaining members 221, 231, reinforcing portion 237, and bonding to form the sleeve member 210. The disk holder 241 is then affixed to the second end panel 236.
A third embodiment of a sleeve assembly 300 according to the present invention is shown in
In contrast to the previously described embodiments, first and second retaining members 321, 331 are provided on a back side of the sleeve hinged portion 370, the first and second retaining members 321, 331 adapted to slidably engage the placard 260, which is described in detail above. As seen most clearly in
As shown in the figures, the hinged portion 370 and box portion 380 are sized such that the hinged portion 370, with the attached placard 260, is insertable into the boxed portion 380, providing a relatively snug fit. The boxed portion 380 includes one or more viewing apertures 312 that are positioned such that at least a portion of the first identifying indicia 262 is visible through the viewing apertures 312 when the hinged portion 370 is fully inserted into the box portion 380. Moreover, it will be appreciated from
It is contemplated that the sleeve assembly of the present invention will be particularly suitable in applications wherein a user-customizable selection of data is provided on digital media disks to a user. For example, a user may desire to purchase a customized play list of music tracks that are recorded onto a single compact disk. With the present invention, a generic or quasi-generic sleeve member, such as 110, 210, or 370 and 380 as described above, may be provided. The sleeve member may not include any information specific to the particular compact disk defined by the user, and therefore single, generic (or a small collection of generic) sleeve members may be used for many different users. Of course, the sleeve member may include indicia not related to the user's customized selection, such as a house trademark, commercial information, artwork, and the like.
A placard, for example, 160, 260 containing information specific to the compact disk—for example, the play list, track play times, artist, album, etc.—may then be easily printed, and provided for insertion onto the sleeve member. The placard may have other indicia printed thereon, including picture, artwork, and the like, at least some of which indicia may be user selectable.
The user may then insert the placard into the sleeve member and attach and/or enclose the compact disk in the sleeve member. The present invention, therefore, provides a convenient packaging system containing specific indicia regarding the disk, without requiring any special printing or marking of the sleeve member.
While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.